Denise Caruso published a wonderful article in Sunday’s New York Times on a subject very close to my heart: how to best go about protecting personal identity, profile, and preference data as new technologies like OpenID, Higgins, and XDI make it possible for individuals to aggregate and share this information much more easily. Call it the “new power of personality” – digital personality.
One of the most intriguing ideas Denise covers in the article is one from Mike Neuenschwander, Lori Rowland, Bob Blakely, Jamie Lewis, and their colleagues at the Burton Group. They propose the idea of a new legal entity explicitly for protection of personal identity data: the Limited Liability Persona (LLP, a nice play on the Limited Liability Partnership). Given the amount of time I’ve spent at the intersection of law and technology and personal data, I’m increasingly believing that the Burton Group is right – digital personas will be granted their own status as a legal construct, just as corporations, patnerships, and sole proprietorships have been in many jurisdictions. I blogged about the LLP when I first heard Jamie Lewis speak about it at Digital ID World 2006, and I think it’s time may be coming. I’m adding it as a category on this blog, and I’ll make it a point to keep reporting on it as it develops.